Local teen makes big impression with Vees

Cody DePourcq didn’t know what to do when named a second star during the Penticton Vees’ 3-2 win against the Merritt Centennials on Saturday.

Cody DePourcq didn’t know what to do when named a second star during the Penticton Vees’ 3-2 win against the Merritt Centennials on Saturday.

However, he knows what to do on the ice. The Penticton Minor Hockey product didn’t collect a point but he made an impact for the Vees. The diminutive forward didn’t look out of place alongside snipers Mark MacMillan and Brendan O’Donnell. He showed similarities to current Vees forward Garrett Milan playing physical along the boards, not shying away from contact, and using speed.

“It was unbelievable how he was going tonight, you could see he wanted to play hard every shift,” said Vees coach-GM Fred Harbinson. “It filtered down to the rest of our guys.”

DePourcq, 15, was rewarded because he exemplified what Harbinson has been stressing to his players — work ethic and competing. The five-foot-five, 134-pound forward “passed with flying colours” according to Harbinson and impressed MacMillan.

“Cody is a really special player,” said MacMillan, adding that some of the friendly jokes about DePourcq were about his size and age. “He’s 15 years old and he plays out there like he’s a mature 19-year-old veteran. So smart with the puck and works so hard it’s nice to watch him play. ”

A smile cracked from DePourcq’s face when asked what it was like playing with MacMillan and O’Donnell.

“It was amazing,” he said. “They are great players and obviously when you play with great players you get the confidence and you get to keep the puck more and it’s great playing with those type of guys.”

DePourcq is playing with the Okanagan Hockey Academy under-18 AAA midget team and is their leading scorer with 19 goals and 35 points in 26 games. Also playing for the Vees on the weekend was Carter Rigby, who collected an assist on Joey Benik’s goal in a 6-1 against Merritt.